The Skydiving Beavers, A True Tale – written by Susan Wood, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen


  The Skydiving Beavers, A True Tale – written by Susan Wood, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, Sleeping Bear Press, (9781585369942), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Non-fiction

What did you like about the book? This old-timey true story begins, “It all started when the folks of McCall, Idaho, realized they had a problem. A big problem. A big beavery-type problem.” The problem was caused when a building boom in 1948 pitted people against the indigenous beaver population. Elmo Heter of the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game came up with the idea to move many of the beavers to an uninhabited area – Chamberlain Basin. But how could he get them there? Heter came up with an ingenious idea flying them in and making air drops using leftover parachutes from WWII.  After much trial and error and with the help of an old male beaver he named Geronimo to do some test runs, the project eventually succeeded in moving seventy-six beavers. Notes at the end provide details about the real life event and interesting facts about beavers. Handsome paintings by van Frankenhuyzen highlight the beauty of the surroundings.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to budding naturalists who would like to hear about an instance when people carefully relocated wild animals. It also works nicely to supplement STEM or Makerspace curriculum to demonstrate a real life example of someone inventing something using trial and error.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve in with other books about beavers in 599.37.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, but only if the topic interests you.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  5/16/17

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